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U.s. 26, Baghdad 11, Us 10, T.j. 10, Oman 6, Britain 6, New York 6, Sarah Shourd 5, Australia 5, Copd 5, Advair 5, Josh Fattal 4, John Henry Newman 4, Igor 4, Egypt 4, Iraq 4, Shane Bauer 4, Martha Stewart 3, Christine O'donnell 3, Newman 3,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business.  

    September 19, 2010
    6:00 - 7:30am EDT  

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good morning. police in california are searching for 13 people they say left behind letters suggesting they would commit mass suicide, and most of the missing are children. also this morning, christine o'donnell can sells the tea party darling of delaware backs out of two sunday morning talk show interviews, and this comes after a video surfaces from 11
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years ago, where she claims she, quote, dabbled in witchcraft. from the cnn center in atlanta, georgia, this is your "cnn sunday morning." 6:00 a.m. where i sit in atlanta. 1:00 p.m. in baghdad. wherever you may be, glad you're right here. welcome to you at home, and a special welcome to our troops watching on the armed forces network in iraq, afghanistan, around the world. glad you're here and glad you do what you do. also coming up, over the next 90 minutes, honoring an american service member from a secret war. his act of selfless courage saved the lives of two comrades, cost him his life. now the nation will honor him with its most prestigious medal. also, what is wrong with this picture? it's a gathering of world leaders, but something's a little off in this photo. we'll show you the close-up and tell you why it's raising eyebrows in egypt. also, the growing popularity of fantasy football. it's a money-making venture now
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that's getting bigger and bigger. going to tell you about the bold lengths some people are going to in order to play the game. but let's start with sarah shourd, the american held in iran for more than a year. she's coming home this morning. she was released on tuesday. she and her two hiking companions who were detained after allegedly straying into iran from northern iraq in july of last year. iran had demanded a $500,000 bail before releasing her from the jail in tehran. on tuesday she flew to oman. oman helped secure her release. she's expected to arrive in new york within the next couple of hours. our susan candiotti is in new york for us. susan, good morning to you. it seems sarah already has an itinerary set for her when she gets back. >> reporter: oh, that's right. she'll be busy with a news conference, or at least reading from a prepared statement when she gets back. of course, we're all looking forward to hearing that. you know, t.j., you can certainly be sure this will be a day of mixed emotions for sarah shourd. of course, she will be thrilled
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to be setting foot on u.s. soil for the first time in more than 13 months, but after all, she is leaving behind her two friends, including her fiance, shane bauer, to whom she became engaged while she was in prison in iran, as well as her other friend josh fattal. of course, they were released from iran and arrived in oman earlier this week. on tuesday she was met which her mom and her uncle at the time. and this followed secret negotiations that took place. our senior correspondent nic robertson has learned they began about eight months ago, and at first, he said, he learned from omani ministers that there was some confusion on the white house end of things because they weren't clear and they were moving on several different tracks about how to try to release her. but then we have learned that president barack obama got directly involved, and that got things moving. there also was a direct line between oman and iran's
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president, ahmadinejad. so finally, when she was released, sarah spoke briefly, as we said. she didn't stray from her statement that she had prepared, but she did offer this. >> i will always associate your country with the first breath of my freedom, the sweet smell of sandalwood, and the chance to stand by the ocean listening to the waves. i think the good hospitable people of oman for your support and ask you to please, please extend your prayers to my fiance shane and my friend josh. they will soon be free. >> reporter: in arabic, her word means god willing they will be freed. as we know, freedom came with a price. $500,000 in bail money was
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posted and paid by the ghost of o -- government of oman. we still don't know exactly where that money came from. >> still a lot of questions to be answered. maybe we'll get that when she comes back to the u.s. for the first time. susan, we know you're on it. we'll continue to check in with you throughout the morning. again, expecting her back in the u.s. in the next couple of hours. we'll turn now to pope benedict xvi. he is wrapping up a four-day trip to great britain. this is his last official event. you can see him here. this say live picture at kaufman park, where he is having another mass, an open air mass. another great turnout for the pope. he had another ceremony yesterday, a prayer vigil last night, where some 80,000 people were estimated to show up. this trip has been marked by some controversy, as always, and protests. people have been proteftding the way, of course, the catholic church has handled the sex abuse scandal. again, this is a country, the uk, only 10 percent catholic ins that country.
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some thought maybe he couldn't pull big crowds, but, in fact, he has, given some of the pictures we have seen. but this ceremony in particular is a beatification mass for an english cardinal, john henry newman. we're going to be talking more about that particular cardinal throughout the morning. but the pope yesterday addressed the issue of the sex abuse scandals at another mass at westminster cathedral. take a listen. >> the abuse of children, especially within her church by her ministers. above all, i express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these despicable crimes. >> part of the pope's trip kind of overshadowed by the arrest of six men who were suspected of plotting an attack. they were arrested but not charged and have already been
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released. they were arrested on friday. police searched homes and businesses, found nothing suspicious. so the men were allowed to go. a vatican spokesman said the pope and his representatives were at no point concerned and didn't change the pope's schedule. let's turn now to the storm. igor, we've been talking about this, this large and dangerous storm. that is how the national hurricane center is describing it, hurricane igor. as the category 1 storm now bears down on the resort island of bermuda, forecasters expect igor to keep its current strength and slam ashore sometime later today or early tomorrow morning. our meteorologist reynolds wolf is live for us in bermuda. is it coming? can you tell it's coming, reynolds? >> reporter: i'll tell you, t.j., last night we could feel just the very beginning of it. we were getting a few of the outer bands that actually are moving through the area, giving us light rain drops. now it's picking up in earnest.
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we're getting occasional storm force winds. there has been good news with the storm, and that's something you mentioned right off the top. it has been weakening. it is only a category 1 storm. there's been a bit of dry air moving in the western half of the storm. the eye wall almost impossible to see at this point, but it may be going through a reformation process. that's something we've got to watch very carefully. you see the imagery there. in terms of the overall strength, it is weak, but here is the bad news. the bad news is that this storm is much bigger, and it is moving at a much slower rate than fabian back in 2003. so because it's moving at a slower rate, that means that bermuda is going to be exposed to these tropical storm force winds, hurricane force gusts for well over 24 hours. that is the problem, to have that kind of enduring storm, subjectsing those kinds of winds, can cause widespread damage across the island. yesterday we had an opportunity to speak with david birch yesterday, the minister here in bermuda, and i'm telling you there is a sense of confidence.
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he says they are definitely prepared. >> we're ready. i'm verypleased to say that we are taking this seriously. we don't normally because we get threats of hurricanes all the time, but we have an emergency measures organization that's well geared up for this, and i'm pleased to say that people are taking it seriously, and they've prepared for it. we'll suffer some damage, no doubt about it. this is probably the biggest storm we'll have had in about 23 years, probably a little stronger than fabian even, which was seven years ago. but people are prepared, and we build for hurricanes. so i'm not at all concerned about damage or loss of life. if people do what they're supposed to do and people do what they've prepared to do. >> reporter: so, t.j., let's simplify this. what is that going to mean for this island, seeing the storm come closer? what it's going to mean is we're
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going to have some flooding. we're going to have monstrous waves. we're going to have tree damage, roof damage, widespread power outages. that's typical when storms come calling, especially a storm lasting this long, moving through an island this small. >> reynolds, we appreciate you. we'll continue to check in with reynolds throughout the day. thanks so much, buddy. want to turn now to a disturbing story out of california. officials there say 13 people are missing, and they fear they may be on a suicide pact mission. eight children are among those missing. this group is from palmdale. two husbands of the missing alerted police. the children are from ages 3 to 17 years old. authorities say the group left behind notes indicating plans to commit mass suicide. >> there were notes. we're going to go meet jesus, as you said. we're going to go meet our relatives who are deceased. looking forward to it. there was a personal belongings. there were deeds to homes. there was cash.
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there was items that would lead to believe that somebody is leaving it behind. >> again, this is still a developing story. we are on top of it. we'll pass along the updates as we get them. also want to turn to texas now, west texas, where a near day long police standoff is over. the man surrendered, 55-year-old man, saying, quote, he lived off the grid, according to police. authorities say victor whitefaces now two counts of attempted capital murder in the shooting of two sheriff's deputies and a civilian on friday. police say the well-armed suspect holed up in his trailer after the shootings. he kept officers at bay for about a day. around 2:00, though, yesterday he gave up and set fire to his residence. he's now in custody being treated for burns. all three gunshot victims are expected to survive. tax cuts are on the table. who gets them? who gets left out? who's getting really worked up in the process? also, a senate candidate said a while ago -- what she
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about a quarter past the hour here now. lawmakers are taking to the sunday political talk shows today. you'll see them out and about plenty today. they're going to be talking about your money, talking about the battle over tax cuts you've been hearing so much about. but i wonder this morning, josh, how much in some of the conversations we hear this morning on sunday talk, if they're actually going to be talking about the american people and the actual people out there working or just going at it once again. >> that's the thing that drives me crazy about so many of these debates, right? you see people on both sides. there's lots of arguing and yelling, and sometimes it's not going to impact you at all because nothing actually gets done. in a case like this, in this specific debate, it actually will impact every american,
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everyone, even if your income doesn't pay taxes. let's start out with the big picture. i want to give you sound from each side. here's one thing the president said a few days ago. >> once again, leaders across the aisle are saying no. they want to hold these middle class tax cuts hostage until they get an additional tax cut for the wealthiest 2% of americans. >> but this debate is not just happening across the aisle. this debate is also with fellow democrats. there are 31 democrats who have signed a letter now opposing the president's plan, which involves the dropping the tax cuts for those couples making more than $250,000 a year. we have a graphic of four lawmakers who authored this letter, these 31 who signed on to it. representative jim matheson, jim nye, gary peters. >> folks in the higher income brackets account for a large percentage of consumer spending. 70% of the economy is consumer
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spending. right now demand is soft on the consumer side. we want to make sure consumers are still out there spending, creating demand. >> that's why he's saying that he thinks the tax cuts should stay in place for couples making more than $250,000 a year. and that's the big question here. so what we did is pulled up a few examples, using our friendly neighborhood avatars we like to revisit from time to time, using the tax calculator. we looked at a couple making $57,000 a year. the reason is this is what the tax policy center says is exactly in the middle in america. if you think about what your income is as a couple, let's say you're in the middle. right now the couple is paying $3,500 in taxes. if the tax cuts from the bush era were to go away, they'd be paying $2,000 more every year in taxes. but neither side wants to drop the tax cuts for this couple because they're in the realm that democrats and republicans both want to leave tax cuts for. now let's go up to over $250,000. this is where the president wants to drop those tax cuts.
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according to calculations, if this couple makes a lot of money, $396,000, paying taxes of $102,000, they would go up about $6,000 under the president's plan. let's jump over to if they're millionaires here. they're making a lot of money. they make $1,750,000 a year. their taxes up at $573,000. you would add another $73,000 to their taxes a year. you can check this out at taxpolicycenter.org and plug the numbers in for yourself. in the end, this really will impact every american. they're going to have to do something to extend the tax cuts even for couples under 250, and then after that, we'll see how it shakes out if they even get to a vote before the election in november. >> what better place to reach a compromise than on sunday morning talk shows? it ought to be good this morning. 18 past the hour. coming up, we all know it's football season. the battle goes on on the field, of course. what about the battle happening in it bars, in homes, and in
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all right. productivity around the offices are going down. it's just going down right now. why? because it's football season. not because the guys in the offices you walk past, not that they're watching football during the day. they are performing the task of being scouts, general manager, and team owner in their fantasy football world. and their skills and their knowledge of the game are on the line here. the drafts now are over. the season has begun. your dream team is assembled. now let's look at why this has become an $800 million phenomenon. >> reporter: it's the start of pro football season. that means tailgating, wearing your team colors, and getting loud. really loud. but this group is doing more than cheering for their teams. they're here to make their football fantasy a reality.
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>> all right. can i have your numbers back, please? >> fantasy football has become a popular past time around the nation. basically, participants pick players in the nfl to build their dream team. scores are based not on team wins, but on player stats. and for some fantasy fanatics, the stat counting can take over their entire daily lives. >> my friends will be very upset for about four months because i completely consume myself with it. i do nothing but look at the stats, deal with the stats, just constantly online. >> that kind of dedication makes fantasy football also good business. so much so that hobbyist turned entrepreneur whit walters, along with a colleague, quit his day job in 1996 to start an online site dedicated entirely to fantasy football. >> there wasn't really anything out there much at that time, so i thought it would be a good idea to do that. so in '97 we launched the site
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thehuddle.com and from there just kind of took off. >> sports websites, magazines, and social networking sites like facebook have also hyped the popularity of fantasy football. and now cell phone apps make it easier to manage stats. from 2003 to 2008, fantasy football players in the u.s. and canada doubled from 15 million to 30 million with the average player being in two to three different leagues. and in 2008, revenue from fantasy football spending topped $800 million, according to the fantasy sports trade association. many businesses see the spike in business. >> we are busy, busy, busy. monday night football, we're busy. thursday night football, we're busy. saturdays and sundays, we're busy from the time we open the doors until the time we close. >> fantasy football has gone from totally geek to totally chic. >> and it's not just for the guys anymore. women are forming leagues of their own. >> in the last couple years, i just got the number recently, it's 14% of the market is women.
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so it has just grown exponentially. >> for these men and women, fantasy football adds extra competition to the game on and off the field. >> if fantasy football won't get you into football, you'll never like football. >> or you could just turn on the tv and watch the game. there's an idea as well. no offense to fantasy football folks. people are really, really into it. so good luck out there. 25 past the hour here now. we've got to turn back to igor. hurricane igor. it's closing in on bermuda. we'll find out just how bad this thing could be once it arrives. [ announcer ] how do you plus up breakfast? introducing total plus omega-3 honey almond flax cereal. all the nutrition of total, plus 10% daily value omega-3 ala, and a delicious honey almond crunch. new total plus omega-3. but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now, i can join the fun and games with my grandchildren. great news! for people with copd, including chronic bronchitis,
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welcome back to "cnn sunday morning." i'm t.j. holmes. give you a look at the headlines right now. freed american hiker sarah shourd expected to be back in the u.s. maybe in just a matter of hours. this is after she served a year in prison in iran. before heading back, she thanked the government of oman for its role in gaining her release before boarding a plane. this was just yesterday. she's leaving behind, though, in iran, her fiance shane bauer, who she got engaged to while they were being held in iran. and also her friend, josh fattal. we boent know the pobt of them being released. they are both charged with espionage by iran. and afghans voted saturday in the fourth national election since the taliban was removed from power. about a 40% turnout, we're told, and there was widespread violence. also procedural challenges and claims of voter fraud. voter participation has plummeted in afghanistan since the first elections in 2004. diplomats wanted election reform
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before holding another vote, but leaders insisted on moving forward. 249 parliament seats at stake. the vote count is under way as we speak. and four days now of prayers and protests wrapping up today in great britain. pope benedict's state visit to the uk ends in just a few hours. ceremony here going on now, a live picture. this is in birmingham. he's having a beatification mass there for john henry newman. that is a 19th century anglican convert. he played an important role in the anglican church, also the catholic church. this step here, the beatification, takes him a step closer to saint hood. part of the pope's mission in the uk was to help restore faith in the church's image. something he did yesterday by meeting with abuse victims. atyoka joining us live from london. good morning to you. the pope's visit has been
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overshadowed. as always, controversy will follow the pope. the sex abuse cases will always follow the pope. but also these arrests. so it's been kind of an interesting trip. >> reporter: it has been an interesting trip. the whole theme of his trip was to try to restore religion into the day taye lives of britons. whether that's been accomplished, i don't know, but he's been able to make a few highlights on the trip. one of the highlights was saturday when he met with victims of child abuse within the church. he met them privately away from the media cameras, and he also said a few words at mass, specifically apologizing and talking about the shame and humiliation of the church and his personal sorrow at learning of the sort of abuse that some people had suffered. but according to victims' groups, that's not enough. they say they want to hear more than just apologies, that they've heard apologies before, and they want to see action, and they did not, they say, see any action from the pope on this
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trip. so, you know, he's attempting to sort of reform the church's image here, but whether or not he was successful is another question, t.j. >> reminding our viewers, we are looking at the live pictures of the mass taking place right now in birmingham at compton park. he drew some 80,000 to a prayer vigil yesterday. thousands more participating in protests as well. one more thing to you, atika, something that was a big part of the story, it seemed, the arrest of six men who were thought to be part of some terror plot. now it seems that wasn't the case. >> reporter: no. this was the big story on friday. six men were arrested for alleged terror related activities. it wasn't known exactly what es well, overnight and early sunday morning, they were released without charge. in the uk, anyone suspected of terror related activities can be arrested without charge for up to 28 days. in this case, it seems, perhaps there was not enough to hold them. they let them go without any charge. we still don't know what the information was that caused them
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to be arrested. police just aren't giving any further details at this point. >> atika shubert for us in london. atika, we appreciate you as always. thank you so much. we are still keeping an eye on a very large and dangerous storm. that's how the national hurricane center is describing it. hurricane igor. the storm has been downgraded this morning to a category 1. it's bearing down on bermuda right now. trying to figure out exactly where this thing is going to head. should be slamming bermuda sometime later today or early tomorrow morning. islanders taking precautions as they feel the tropical force winds and deteriorating weather conditions already. this is in bermuda, southampton, bermuda, from one of our i-reporters. he's feeling the winds pick up. large strong waves already slamming bermuda's southern coast. real concerns about serious storm surge and coastal flooding from the high surf. another i-reporter has more from
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nearby devonshire bay. >> we're about 24 hours away from the beginning of tropical storm winds from hurricane igor. there's a number of bermudans out on the south shore, where we are, watching the waves come in as the preceding surf from the hurricane gets bigger and bigger. it is absolutely mad. the houses on the water, i'd be afraid to be in one, to be completely honest, during this storm. it is huge. >> let me bring in karen mcginnis here now. it is always a little deceiving. have to be a little cautious when we say something's been downgraded. oh, things must be fine. not really the case. this is a big sucker here. >> this is a huge hurricane. we've got julia also sitting out there, and julia is this little tiny storm that's now moving to the north, and we're not even concerned about it. but igor is so massive. and even though the winds now
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are right around 85 miles an hour, this is still a very potent system. this is still very warm water. going to take you over to the map. this is from weather.bm. this is from the bermuda government. we take a look at this radar image, and i'll just kind of point out a couple of things. i know it's difficult to read. here is bermuda right here, but you can already see the bands moving across bermuda. you get a wave. the rainfall is heavy. it may die down a little bit. but we are seeing fairly steady 30 to 40 mile an hour wind gusts. i misspoke actually, up to around 45 miles an hour. we're missing a little bit of data here, but you get the big picture. look how broad this system is. it extends about 700 miles from the center. 350 miles from the center, tropical storm force and hurricane force winds extending on either side of the eye. and it's probably going through
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reformation and is probably going to gain maybe a little bit of intensity before it makes a direct hit sometime tonight in bermuda. now, just about every 2, 2 1/2 years, they get a glancing blow or a direct blow from a hurricane. so, yes, they're aware of this going on and prepare for it, but can you ever really totally prepare for a hurricane? we'll keep you updated on this. right now the winds are between 30 and 45 miles an hour. t.j., it looks like this evening, this is going to be the time when we really watch what's happening as far as igor making landfall in bermuda. >> and our reynolds wolf is there. we expect to keep getting live reports from him throughout the day. thank you for keeping an eye on things here, karen. thanks so much. witchcraft, a date at a satanic altar. what does that have to do with a senate race in delaware? we'll explain the strange circumstances around an
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interview christine o'donnell did a decade ago. >> i'm here today to open up my second serena williams secondary school with this charity called build africa schools. i saw these kids who were actually doing their homework in the dirt with sticks. for me, that was really moving. the kids definitely have the smarts to do anything. they just don't have necessarily the equipment. and that's why we offer schools to provide kids who have a dream and want to do better. >> join the movement. cnn.com/impact. people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis going? they're discovering the first self-injectable ra medicine you take just once a month. it's simponi™, and taken with methotrexate, it helps relieve the pain, stiffness, and swelling of ra with one dose a month. visit 4simponi.com to see if you qualify for a full year of cost support. simponi™ can lower your ability to fight infections,
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40 minutes past the hour on this "cnn sunday morning." we're we are getting word that 29 people have been killed and 111 wounded in baghdad in car bombings that happened just the past several hours. 29 dead, 111 injured. these are two separate incidents with car bombs going off, massive explosions, injuring a large number of people. of course, this comes at a time when we're seeing a bit of an increase in violence, even though we have overall, over the past several years, seen violence in iraq overall go down. this comes, of course, at the same time when the u.s. just drew down and just ended its combat mission there even though there's still 50,000, around 50,000 u.s. service members still there serving in an advisory role. but, again, the word is 29 dead, 111 wounded. we are going to get more on this
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breaking news story out of baghdad. turn back to the u.s. now and politics. president obama says his win in 2008 was not just about electing a black president. the president told a meeting of the congressional black caucus last night they should rally constituents and remind them that more work musting done to move the country forward. the president also talked about the administration's accomplishments, including passing wall street and health care reform bills and ending the combat mission in iraq that i was just mentioning. tea party senate hopeful christine o'donnell has cancelled two sunday morning talk show appearances. this comes after a decade old interview revealed, in her words now, that she, quote, dabbled in witchcraft. pundit bill maher played a portion of that 1999 interview friday night during his show "realtime" on hbo, but the original clip and her comments came on his older show, his now defunct "politically incorrect.
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" >> i dabbled in witchcraft but i never joined a covenant? >> you were a witch? >> i was a witch. >> how are you a witch? >> because i dabbled into witchcraft. i hung around people who were doing these things. >> having fun? >> i'm not making this stuff up. i know what they told me they do. and one of my dates -- >> whoa, wait. i want to hear about this. >> one of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and i didn't know it. there was a little blood there and stuff like that. >> your first date was a satanic altar? >> we went to a movie and had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar. >> again, this was 11 years ago. o'donnell's spokeswoman told the associated press that she cancelled her tv appearances this morning. she was supposed to be on two different sunday talk shows, said she cancelled so she could attend church events in a key county today. our cnn contributor and author of "wing nuts," john avalon said her past, o'donnell's past, could come back to haunt her. >> there's a reason the
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libertarian magazine "reason" called her a crack pot of the first order. you are seeing a lot of the controversies from her past are coming out, and they're going to keep coming out in drips and drabs. i think you may see more about her past talking about gay conversion therapy. but this is a real issue for her campaign. it's a real issue for her candidacy. it's a reason a lot of responsible republicans and conservatives were very concerned about her winning the nomination, not just about electability in the broadest sense, but also just about the skeletons in her closet, being a professional social conservative activist on a lot of talk shows during the 1990s. so expect more where this comes from. >> and you'll remember o'donnell shocked the republican party and a lot of folks when she won the senate primary election last week. coming up, it's always a busy week in politics. our cnn deputy director paul steinhauser takes a look at what's ahead. >> good morning, t.j. coming up on six weeks until the
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midterm elections, and there's so much going on with republicans and democrats out there on the campaign trail. it's going to be a busy week in politics. let's talk about the president, barack obama. check this out on the cnn political ticker. the president is going to be in philadelphia, headlining a dnc fund-raiser, trying to raise big bucks for the party, and hoping out joe sestak, the nominee there. that's a seat the democrats want to keep in party hands. wednesday the president's going to be in new york city. he's got official presidential business at the united nations, but he's also going to be headlining a big fund-raiser for the democratic national committee, teaming up with nancy pelosi, the house speaker, and also teaming up with harry reid, the senate majority leader. joe biden busy on the campaign trail. on monday, he'll be in ohio, hanging out with ted strickland, the governor there, who faces a tough re-election. ohio is a critical state not only in mid terms but also in presidential politics. 2012 not too far away. talking about 2012, just the other night we had sarah palin in iowa. remember she was headlining the
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big republican party dinner in iowa. coming up this week, mitt romney, another possible contender for the 2012 gop nomination, he'll be in new hampshire doing the same thing sarah palin was doing. he'll be headlining a big new hampshire dinner for the republican party. they say, this is just about this year and helping republicans raise money for this year, but maybe it's partially about 2012 and the next race for the white house. t.j.? >> thanks to paul steinhauser. for the latest political news, you can head right to our website, cnnpolitics.com. [ male announcer ] let's throw down some style.
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>> reporter: that's right, t.j. well over 100 people have been injured in those two attacks. now, one of them happened at a fairly busy intersection. that was a car bomb that exploded. that attack killed 19 people. the other one happened when a minibus exploded in front of a cell phone company, that attack leaving at least ten people dead. and there was other violence that took place in the capital as well. a minibus driver and his son were killed when a magnetic bomb was placed under their vehicle. and the official of iraq's ministry of interior was also killed when a bomb was placed underneath his vehicle. this very much illustrates the atmosphere in baghdad today. iraqis still do go out with a great level of concern, not knowing when or where an attack is going to take place, and many iraqis talk about how they're constantly checking underneath their vehicles, trying to make sure no one has placed a bomb underneath them. many of them say they don't know how or why certain people are
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being targeted. in some cases, it's fairly obvious because they're government or security officials. in other cases, it just appears to be this random violence that is rearing its ugly head once again, t.j. all of this coming after the u.s. military officially declared its combat mission over at a time when iraq continues to be in something of a political vacuum since we had elections back in march, and there still is no new government that has been seated, t.j. >> still no new government. we see maybe these attacks happening more often as of late. as we know, the u.s. in an advisory role there. have we been able to stay in that advisory role, or have they been getting close to having to get back into combat? of course, they can defend themselves, but are the iraqis having to call on those 50,000 americans that are left to handle some of these attacks? >> reporter: well, t.j., there have been a couple of instances where the u.s. military has been drawn into battle a few weeks ago. if you remember, there was that
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attack on baghdad on one of the iraqi military bases that was, in fact, a joint base with the u.s. military. the u.s. there was drawn into battle. there was actually an attack at a u.s. military base itself where an iraqi army soldier turned on the americans, shot and killed two of them, wupded another nine. there have been other instances, ween when the u.s. military is out in the so-called advisory role, where they have been drawn into combat. the iraqis have had to call on u.s. military support for battles in the northern province of diyala, just north of baghdad. so even when we say this is a noncombat mission, iraq still does very much remain a war zone, and that is a war zone where violence takes place on a nearly daily basis, t.j. >> arwa damon with our update in baghdad. in the sky ♪ ♪ for a chain of supply, that's logistics ♪ ♪ when the parts for the line ♪ ♪ come precisely on time
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the catholic church in melbourne, australia, has drawn a hard line on what kind of music can be played at funerals. we're going to get to that in just a second. first, take a look at this picture. what is wrong with this picture? this picture is from a website, well-respected newspaper in egypt. snapshot of a historic moment in the ongoing middle east peace process. now talk about a picture being worth a thousand words. take a look at this one, a thousand lies possibly. both stories have been in the global spotlight, and that means nadia has been keeping an eye on things. she's our editorial producer who always graces us with her presence on saturday and sunday morning. that picture flap, it was kind of funny. >> yes. earlier this week, the al haran newspaper in egypt, which reflects the government's point of view, shows the picture with president hos any mubarak in front and president barack obama in the back. although in the original photograph, you had president barack obama leading the delegation of hosni mubarak,
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prime minister of israel, and the king of jordan abdullah, so it has been photoshopped. on friday a blogger seized this and said, why are we so surprised? mr. al kalil has become very famous now. the newspaper says the following, we're just being expressive. because what we're saying is symbolically mubarak is leading the mideast peace talks. and an independent newspaper in egypt says you are making a joke of journalism, and this is making a fool of mubarak. but the reality is in a true statement the reality isn't always good. this is perhaps not the best use. >> it's kind of government-backed, this website. any indication the government had something to do -- that anyone told them to do that, if lu? >> probably it was editorial. it has since been taken off the website, but it has caused a
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great deal of amusement. >> that is funny because he was in the very back essentially on the original picture. >> and on the blogosphere, where kalil has become a famous blogger after that. >> and music at funerals. >> we're moving to melbourne, australia, where the archbishop of melbourne, dennis hart, says no secular music at funerals. he even says at children's funerals you can't have music because it intensifies the grief. >> intensifies the grief? >> and he goes on to say you want to make it a very solemn ceremony because it is after all a serious religious ceremony. what's very interesting is that in australia, one of the most popular songs that's played is the football song. it's the australian rules collingwood anthem played at funerals. >> why that song? >> because so many australians are avid australia rules fans.
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so collinwood is played at many, many funerals. >> is it an upbeat song? >> it's an upbeat song that says let's all get together and let's be part of the world. so that's the collinwood song. but i have the list of the kinds of songs that get played. there would be frank sinatra's version of "my way." "wonderful world" by louis armstrong. "time to say good-bye," "unforgettable" by nat king coal. "the wind beneath my wings," "amazing grace," "we'll meet again," "over the rainbow," "abide with me," and that's it. but what are the songs that's most unusual? queen's "another one bites the dust." ac/dc's "highway to hell." and monty python's "always look on the bright side of life." and from the wizard of oz, "ding dong the witch is dead." again, this is a guideline from the archbishop. funeral directors are concerned because they say songs are a
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wonderful way to celebrate a person's life. >> these are just guidelines. a lot of people might listen and take this tho heart, but you don't have to. >> it's guidelines for the contact li catholic church specifically. i know we said it's a ban, but it's very stringent guidelines by the archbishop in australia. >> somebody actually plays ding dong the witch is dead? >> would that be something someone chooses themselves or is it chosen after the person is deceased? >> nadia, thank you. when you're a hero in a secret war, that means your actions have to stay a secret as well. next two men tell us about the men who saved their lives 42 years, now they're telling us, after it happened.
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top of the hour here now. good morning to you all. police in california searching for 13 people they say left behind letters suggesting they would commit mass suicide, and most of the missing are children. also this morning, poverty in the u.s. we just got the new staggering census numbers last week. coming up, though, not just numbers we're going to give you. we're going to introduce you to real people behind those numbers who are struggling day in and day out. from the cnn center, folks, this is "cnn sunday morning," 7:00 a.m. where i sit here in atlanta. 2:00 p.m. in baghdad. i'm t.j. holmes. glad you're here with us. we have to start this hour
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in baghdad, where police now telling us there have been a couple of explosions that have killed at least 29 people this morning. another 111 have been injured by these attacks. these were two separate attacks in baghdad. most of those killed were civilians. one of these explosions came from a minibus that was parked outside of a mobile phone company. another rocked a neighborhood in northwest baghdad. violence, as you know, has been kind of on an uptick here in the past, at least recently, even though over the past couple of years, it has gone down. this has come at a time when the u.s. has just ended its combat mission there, even though some 50,000 u.s. service members remain in an advisory role. this is a breaking story this morning. we'll bring you more details as they continue to come in. want to turn now to sarah shourd. she's the american that was held in iran for about a year. she is out now, and she is almost home. she was released tuesday, expected back in the u.s. any time. she and her two hiking companions were detained after
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allegedly straying into iran from northern iraq. that was in july of last year. iran demanded a $500,000 bail before releasing her from tehran. on tuesday she flew to oman, and oman helped secure her release. she's going to be making a quick stop in dubai then heading over to new york. again, we're expecting her any time this morning. susan candiotti standing by for us in new york. a long trip for her here to get back to the u.s., and she already has a schedule for when she arrives. >> reporter: oh, sure, but her exact itinerary is still being kept under wraps. of course, it's got to be a great day for her and for her family. she'll probably get some rest before she meets with reporters this afternoon here in new york. she's not expected to take any questions. again, she'll read from a prepared statement. however, the mothers of her two friends, her fiance shane bauer and josh fattal.
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her release came at a price. we still don't know exactly where that $500,000 in bail came from, but there's also an emotional price. sarah shourd leaves behind shane bauer and josh fattal. before she headed to the ut, she thanked the u.s. for its role as well as the government of oman. >> i will always associate your country with the first breath of my freedom, the sweet smell of sandalwood and the chance to stand by the ocean listening to the waves. i thank the good hospitable people of oman for your support and ask you to please, please extend your prayers to my fiance shane and my friend josh. [ speaking arabic ] they will soon be free. >> reporter: and in arabic, that means god willing. again, the government of iran said one of the reasons for her release was because of health
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concerns. sarah has told her mother that she found a lump in one of her breasts. so, of course, she'll probably get that looked at as soon as she gets back. t.j., back to you. >> susan candiotti on the story in new york. know you'll be following it and waiting for her to arrive. thank you so much. the pope is wrapping up his trip to the uk. he's wrapping it up with a mass, an apology, and a meeting with sex abuse victims. we're going to be talking to the vatican analyst to get some perspective on the pope's uk trip. in 2008 i quit venture capital
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seven minutes past the hour now. pope benedict ending a four-day state visit to great britain today and what has been a mission of healing for the image of the catholic church. he met with victims of sex abuse yesterday. he apologized with, quote, deep sorrow, for how they suffered. our senior vatican analyst john allen joining me from london. john, always good to have you. it's never enough, and understandably so, for a lot of people, certainly the victims. but they always say we hear apology after apology, but the apologies aren't enough. what else are they calling on him to do? >> reporter: hey, t.j., this is the big difference between the pope this week and great britain and when he came to the states back in '08. when he first apologized for the crisis and met with victims, as you remember, that was sort of a revolution and had an enormous impact. now what many people are saying
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is we've seen all this before, and we want to see deeds to go along with these words. what victims' groups are calling for in particular would be disclosure that they believe the vatican holds, and they want to see a crack down on bishops who covered up this abuse. clearly what the pope has done in the uk has not been enough to satisfy his most determined critics although it at least projects an image for the critics a pope who gets it. >> you're the analyst. analyze for me. he's there to help soften the image of the catholic church at all, yes, in relation to the sex abuse, but just overall present a new and better image of the church. has he accomplished that goal in any way over the past four days. >> reporter: t.j., coming into this trip, i think the question was who was going to win the war of words? would it be the pope or his critics? in the end, i think they both had a pretty good four days. pope benedict xvi has launched a
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four-day seminar about the role of religion in public life, but according to david cameron, it's forced the very secular brits to, quote, sit up and listen. meanwhile, pope's critics mobilized the largest public protest this pope has ever seen, one of the largest in modern times. in the streets last night, some 10,000 or 15,000 people showed up to protest the pope's positions on gay rights and women and the pope's role in the sex abuse scandals. both have had their moments in the sun. britain has a robust democracy, and i suppose the pope has gotten a taste of that this week. >> hit on someone people might not be too familiar with. john henry newman. we see the live pictures of a mass happening right now. this is getting john henry newman, this cardinal of the 19th century, a step closer to possible sainthood. this guy has an interesting background, and it's important
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the pope is doing this, and this could help in the image, if you will, of the catholic church in great britain. just explain this guy's interesting background a little bit, if you can. >> reporter: as you say, newman was one of the great figures of victorian era england. he was born in 1801 and died in 1890, so almost the entire 19th century. he was an anglican who converted to catholicism in 1885, very controversial step at the time. he's one of the towering intellectual figures of recent catholic history. he's a hero to some liberal catholics because he put a great deal of emphasis on conscience and also the development of doctrine, meaning that church teaching can change. he's also, however, a hero to many conservatives because he defended catholic identity and put a lot of emphasis on forming catholic leities so they can defend the faith, what's called apologetics. so newman is one of those rare figures in catholic life that appeals to both sides of the
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street. he's become more and more popular since his death. so the fact that benedict is going out of his way to beatify newman because, remember, pen depict decided at the beginning of his papacy he was no longer going to do beatifications. it was going to be done locally. this could be the only beatification ceremony that benedict has chosen to do. the fact he's chosen to do it for a figure that has so much contemporary appeal, it does put a happy capstone on the pope's four-day trip to the uk. >> he is making an exception for a reason here, john allen, always good to talk to you. you are just an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to the catholic church. we always appreciate having you. good to see you, buddy. we'll talk to you soon. 11 minutes here past the hour now. you have heard the numbers that were just unbelievable, nearly 1 in 7 americans living in poverty. we're going to throw out the numbers and introduce you to some folks who are struggling to get by day after day. stay with us.
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on tuesday president obama will award the medal of honor post humoue mussily to a man credited with saving soldiers in 1958.
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>> reporter: air force chief master sergeant richard etchberger died in 1968. >> so this is where your grandfather's buried. >> reporter: cory etchberger was in third grade when he was told his father had died in a helicopter accident in southeast asia. only at age 29, when the air force declassified his father's story, did he learn the truth. >> i was stunned that, in fact, he wasn't killed in a helicopter accident. that was the first time i knew of anything of his heroic deeds. >> reporter: during the vietnam war, the u.s. military wasn't supposed to be in laos. it was a neutral country. so etchberger and others shed their uniforms and posed as civilians to run a super secret radar installation on a laotian mountain top. in 1967 and '68,ly ma site guided u.s. bombing of north vietnam. in march of '68, north vietnamese soldiers scaled the
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tall cliff and attacked. the technicians were trapped. etchberger picked up an m-16. >> it's foggy. weapons are going off all around him. he's got these comrades next to him, two of him are shot and killed and fall off the cliff in front of him, and yet he continues to defend his men. his people. >> reporter: one of them was stanley slizz. >> i got hit in both legs, and everybody was screaming and hollering. but they weren't able to get close because of etch firing at them. >> reporter: john daniels still has the shrapnel wounds he got that day. >> he was the only one that did not get injured in this fire fight. they kept throwing grenades and shooting, and we would pick up hand grenades and throw them back at them or kick them over the side of the mountain. >> reporter: when an american helicopter came to evacuate them, etchberger braved enemy fire to get his wounded comrades, shrewding slizz and
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daniel, on board first. >> it was not for him, i would not be alive today. >> reporter: but etchberger didn't survive. as the chopper pulled away, there was gunfire from the ground. >> etch had been sitting on the jump seat right above my head. that bullet went right through him, killed him instantly. i live it every day. i live it every day. it haunts me. >> reporter: etchberger was posthumously, secretly, awarded the air force cross for his heroism. it was feared giving him the medal of honor would expose the u.s. military presence in laos. since his story became public, his hometown of hamburg, pennsylvania, has erected a memorial. his name is displayed proudly on the town sign. only now, 42 years after his death, will he get the military's highest award for bravery, a tribute many feel he is due. jeanne meserve, cnn, washington.
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19 minutes past the hour now. we got new census numbers just a few days ago that show that more americans than ever are living in poverty. 1 in 7 people. what does that number really represent, though? it represents women like tanesha, ann, and joyce, working mothers struggling right now, literally, to put food on the table. listen to them describe their situation. >> there's so much going on, and there's no jobs available. no one wants to live the way we have to live. >> poverty is not a look. poverty is a way of life, and, yes, i am living it. when i go paycheck to paycheck
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and figuring how to spend that last penny, that's poverty. >> i have faith that i am going to make it. i really try not to focus on what i don't have and try to make the best of what i do have. >> i live on approximately $5,000 a year, which would come down to maybe $100 every two weeks for me and my 11-year-old son brian, and you cannot live any poorer than we do. my son said that he wasn't deprived of anything as a child, and that's because i gave everything i can to my children. if i had to go without, it's okay as long as my children had. >> there's so much more i want for my kids, so much more, so much further in life. i just want them to just be better than me. so i have to show an example, and right now i feel like i'm
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not showing an example because it's a lot that i can't do for them. it's a struggle. just trying to see if my checks are going to last long enough for me to provide for my kids, get diapers, pay bills, just pay rent. i'm really just playing it day by day, trying to see if i'm going to be able to survive, trying to see if my kids still will be here with me, make sure they're not going to be tooken from me because i was in the system. they look at you differently, being in the system, so they feel like, well, since whatever your parents did to you, why whatever happened to you in the system, you're going to do the same to your kids. and not being able to provide, not knowing if you're going to have a home the next day, not knowing how much your check is going to be, are you going to be able to pay your rent, to have somewhere to stay? to just have food, have just the
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normal things in life. >> i would like everyone to understand that it's not just hitting the very poor, poor. it hits everybody, even someone that's out like me that's working and trying hard to take care of their family, and i'm talking about not just any family. my kids are great kids. but it hits us hard, harder. so i want them to see a face on how this economy is affecting us. when we lost the house and could no longer stay here, my family found ourselves in a shelter for single mothers. that was -- i think that was the hardest thing that has ever happened to me, even going through what i went through with my daughter, with her bone marrow transplant. living in the shelter is a humbling experience. having to get food from a food
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bank is humbling, but to have to live in a shelter with your children, you don't ever want to be like that. so we stayed there for a month, about a month and a half, and my landlord came to us and said, some money is better than no money. so with the grace of god, we were able to come back into the same house that we were in. what makes me happy is when erin wakes up in the morning with a smile on her face. my daughter in college running track and field. my son playing football. maya in the play. >> never make assumptions. come outside, meet the people in your community where you live, meet the people in the communities where you work, and meet the people in the communities where you represent. >> see the face of poverty. >> see the face of poverty.
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>> i have no idea how i manage every day, but we manage to pull it together. i try to do it with god's help and a lot of hope that i'm going to make it through. and every day i turn around and look that we made it through another day. >> there's so much more that i feel like i can do for my kids that i can't do it without money. these days money goes a long way. i know money can't buy you happiness, but it will get you out of a lot of struggle. >> just a reminder that, if you want to help or learn more about the startling statistic, you can do that online. go to cnn.com/impact.
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freed american hiker sarah shourd is on her way back to the u.s. she could be home at any moment. she left oman yesterday with warm words for the iriarab nati and its help in brokering her release from iran. her fiance and friends still remain in that prison in iran. president obama urging black lawmakers to get their constituents fired up and remind them that more work has to be done to get this country moving forward. the president addressed the congressional black caucus last night in washington. president obama called his 2008 election to the white house the changing of the guard and now says the guard need to guard the change, i should say. the process also of permanently killing bp's ruptured oil well in the gulf of mexico just about
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